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Hawkeyes pull it out in 18th

BY COURTNEY BAUMANN | APRIL 29, 2015 5:00 AM

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Just when everyone thought the game would never end, it finally did.

After five hours and 39 minutes, the No. 19 Iowa baseball team extended its winning streak to five games with an 18-inning, 4-3 victory over Sacramento State on Tuesday.

John Barrett ended the game at Banks Field with a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field. Barrett had a chance to end the game in the 15th but could not convert. He was determined to make up for it the second time around.

“The first time I was really disappointed I didn’t get it done,” Barrett said. “The second time I just knew I had to go up there more focused and battle harder than I did the first time.”

At the end of the ninth inning, the Hawkeyes and Hornets were deadlocked at 2.

The Hornets went out to a 3-2 lead in the top of the 12th after the lead runner tagged up and scored on a deep fly ball caught by left fielder Eric Schenck-Joblinske.

Iowa responded to the score with a run of its own, extending the game to the 13th.

Hoping to drum up a bit of energy, a 14th-inning stretch and a second rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was performed. The Hawkeyes were unable to capitalize on a leadoff single by Joel Booker, and the game moved to a 15th inning. 

Maybe it was a miracle from the arms flapping in the dugout and the bullpen — a reference to Angels in the Outfield — but 18 long innings later, the game finally came to a close. 

Eric Toole started off the bottom of the 18th with a single to right. After a pop-out by Jake Mangler, Kris Goodman singled to left, and both he and Toole took an extra base after a fielding error in the outfield. Barrett closed the game and Toole easily scored on a sacrifice fly to put the game to rest.

Iowa had numerous chances later to end the game but left 11 on base from the 10th to the 16th innings. In addition to those left on base, Iowa also lost out on two more opportunities, getting caught stealing twice.

“We had a lot of opportunities earlier in the game to end it, and obviously we just didn’t get it done,” Mangler said. “Thankfully, it ended, and we got a win out of it.”

It took a while for Iowa’s offense to get going. Through the 18 innings, the Hawkeyes registered 13 hits; only 6 came in the first 13 innings.

What the offense did not do, the pitching made up for.

“As bad as our offense was tonight and the opportunities that we squandered, the positive tonight was how well our pitchers competed and did a nice job,” head coach Rick Heller said. “A lot of guys pitched extremely well and pitched out of some jams in pressure situations.”

The game was originally supposed to be a double-header against Sacramento State.

“We actually talked about how it was supposed to be two games,” Mangler said. “I guess the baseball gods really wanted us to play them.”


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